Biopharma & Health
Through continued breakthroughs in engineered biology, we are entering a new era of medicine. Engineered biomolecules are hitting ‘undruggable’ targets, the immune system is being optimized to fight cancer, CRISPR is being used for lightning-fast diagnostics, and the microbes within us are being harnessed and modified to target skin, gastrointestinal, and autoimmune conditions. With these breakthroughs — and more in the works — it is more important than ever to ensure that we are pursuing the right goals. Biopharmaceuticals must be affordable for those who need them, and we must not lose sight of global disease burden. And, as data sharing because more critical for democratizing clinical applications such as diagnostics, we must ensure than in our efforts toward the global good we don’t harm the individual. Learn how synthetic biology is tackling the biopharma and health stage, and the ethical implications that we should all be considering.
Biomolecules can address diseases in immunology, oncology, genetic defects, and many other conditions that small molecule drugs simply cannot treat. But discovering and creating biomolecules, manufacturing them at scale, then formulating and delivering them to patients are all completely different – and difficult. Synthetic biology is a critical new tool, as the historical means of engineering genes and proteins are running into both technical and economic limitations. The frontier of biopharmaceuticals today – engineering not just genes or proteins, but entire cells as therapeutic agents – is an even clearer fit with synthetic biology’s tools and techniques.
“What if you could directly and accurately test for the flu at home? What if you receive the prescription and treatment plan without having to step foot into a clinic? And what if the same principle could be applied to other dangerous diseases such as Ebola?” READ MORE
Can synthetic biology help Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers develop therapeutic antibodies in only 90 days?
The frightening truth is that we are woefully unprepared for the next global pandemic. We desperately need a better, faster solution to ensure that when the next pandemic happens — and it will — the impact on human life and society is limited. READ MORE
“Whether in manufacturing, drug discovery or both,” Nicols says, “the world’s pharmaceutical industry needs to take a lesson from Merck and GSK and get more proactive in exploiting the growing power of synthetic biology to improve its business going forward.” READ MORE